Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Poultry Warehouse Inc. (and a House Update)

Master Bedroom
I keep waiting to make that post that the floors are finished, but not QUITE.

All he lacks is about 30 square feet in the closets, but it's just been a matter of getting over there to work on it. Luckily, he has a long weekend off coming up, so it will be crunch time!

Something that did get finished this week was the master bath shower tile. And it is so beautiful!

We hired this out, by the way. I only wish we could produce something this lovely in less than a day!

I'll do an official "Before and After" post when everything is finished, but can we just relish the comparison for a moment?

I am very pleased with our tile selection, and it looks so much nicer than that cheap plastic surround would have.

The interior doors have been ordered, we will start buying and installing trim and baseboard, and we hope to be installing the vanities and toilets this weekend. Still waiting on our counter tops.

We discovered a mistake after the cabinets were installed. Unfortunately we put them too close to the kitchen entryway, not leaving enough room for trim. Well, there's enough room for the trim, but it would stick out and we wouldn't be able to open our cabinet drawers. So everything is going to have to move over slightly.

It will be another couple of weeks before we can get the water hooked up, because of our plumber's busy schedule.

Let me just take a moment and address an obvious issue. We have a modular home. We are putting money into a modular home. And because of the way these dwellings are classified, we will never be able to get this money back. We will never have this lovely thing called "equity." Even though this is obviously a permanent house on a solid foundation, it's still classified as "mobile."

Heck, we can't even get enough home insurance to cover the value of the work we've put into it, again, because of how it's classified.

It's frustrating, but that's just the way it is. It isn't any less of a home to us, and we have no plans to sell, but if the unexpected happens and we are forced to sell and move away, it will just be whatever it will be. We have plans to make lots of improvements on the property, so that will raise the value some.

So it may not be a prudent investment based on society standards, but it has value to us because it has four solid walls and a good roof, beautiful property, the distance to Mark's job, and of course, my family living next door (and access to their 40 acres).

Dad and his dogs paying us a visit.
So that's the house update, now for birds.

The chicks are now 4 weeks old and just about fully feathered.

I've been letting them out some to forage, which they are PROS at. I don't recall raising chicks that were such good foragers.

They especially love the downed treetop (yep, it's still there). They instinctively stick close to low cover to help shield them from aerial predators.

Can you see them in there?
Of course, come bedtime, they are pretty difficult to herd back into the pen. But I have to get them back in their brooder cage so the ducks can have their pen for the night. And the ducks have been really stubborn about going up too.

They don't have as much incentive because they are getting feed throughout the day. The younger Muscovies need easy access to feed to supplement their fast growth.

So the evening roundup has become quite a chore.

The geese are usually pretty good about going up. Or at least they are easier to herd.

This weekend, things will be getting a little less crowded around here.

All but 3 of the chicks will be shipped down to my parents' farm, and I'll also be dropping off my excess drakes there (they will be grown out for the freezer later this fall).

Oh, I forgot to mention: we also have one extra duck in the mix, currently.

Mark was finally able to catch the last remaining Muscovy that was dropped off in the park a few weeks ago.

He (along with my White Appleyard hen) will be going home with a co-worker next week.

And yes, I know we aren't following proper quarantine protocol, but I literally have NOWHERE else for him to go. He's been living out in the open with fresh air and green grass, so I'll just have to hope for the best.
For now, he will just hang out with the rest of the gang, eating, swimming, pooping and making a general mess of our poor backyard.

The baby Muscovies know exactly what he is, and they frequently get together and have a long chat.
Speaking of stray birds, the poultry dumper is at it again.

The knobby ones look like possibly African/Chinese crosses and the whites look like Embdens. It looks like a pair of each with a juvenile.
Actually, we don't really know whether it's the same person or not, because this time some birds showed up all of the way on the other side of the park.

I don't exactly need any more geese, but if they are friendly I'd like to give them a chance at a good home. I know one woman who would be interested in some, and maybe some can live at my parents' farm.

While their chances of survival are a little better than the Muscovies, they are still at risk, especially considering the high rate of crime at this remote location (it is difficult to patrol regularly because of its distance from the rest of the park).

Of course, catching them would be no easy task. Our best option would be to set up a funnel trap using netting, and then catch them one by one. Geese are very strong, so even that wouldn't exactly be easy.

Then there is the problem of whether or not they are friendly. Oriental goose breeds can be especially nasty, so I'd hate to go to all of that trouble only to find out they are terrorists with wings.

Now, we certainly have no qualms about eating them, but we haven't had the time to process 4 ducks, much less 6 huge geese!

We'll see. It's possible somebody else has already beat us to the punch, since there was one interested bystander when Mark was out there. That would be fine, really. I just don't want them trying to survive out there when winter comes. They don't belong there, anyhow. The state park is for wildlife, not domestic geese.

I'm perfectly happy with my geese and their sweet, silly temperaments.

We must have one of the strangest ranger residences anywhere.

Once we leave, it likely won't serve as a ranger residence anymore. The only ones still living on the park other than us, are the Manager and his family. They are going to continue to live here until they build their house.

Our old house will likely serve as additional office space, a Ranger rec area or even a Seasonal Ranger residence. It's such a great location, it would make a great birding cabin or something like that in the future.

Oh, I almost forgot!

Five years ago Mark began a project to acquire the private acreage behind our house and incorporate it into the park.

After MANY trials and tribulations, this precious 168 acres has officially been bought!

Mark led a wild hike over there with a few people the other day - the first visitors to hike on the new park land.

I'm so proud of his determination with this project and that he was able to see it through to the end. Somehow it feels better to leave our park home behind, knowing that the beautiful land we look out on every day will always be there. (You can see more photos from this hike here at the park's facebook page.)

Soon we will be making our mark on some new land.

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